This Is Us: A Fourth of July Message From Your Newspaper

By JOHN HARLOW | Editor-in-Chief

Next spring, the Palisadian-Post will turn a spritely 90 and be eligible for cake at the Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club’s 90th-Plus Birthday Party.

In 1928, the first edition boasted it had been printed at a magical place “where the mountains meet the sea” and revealed that $1 million was being spent to pave the future Chautauqua Boulevard. It was, apparently, in a terrible state. Some things never change.

Over the decades, there have been dozens of extraordinary reporters and editors, managers and designers, all dedicated to capturing the unique town spirit that is Pacific Palisades.

Sometimes it feels a little Mayberry, as it will be next Tuesday, on the Fourth of July.

Sometimes it feels a little darker.

All sides of this extraordinary community have been faithfully recorded for generations at the Palisadian-Post because that is what your town newspaper does.

A colorful cavalcade of characters has owned the Post since the days when it cost five cents. Past proprietors, such as Charlie and Bill Brown, who also owned a rival “crosstown” paper, and the Small family of Kankakee, Illinois, seemed to end up in the Palisades by accident.

Others, like Clifford Clearwater, who delivered the mail door-to-door by horse, and his widow/editor Zola Clearwater, and today’s proprietor Alan Smolinisky, were born and bred Palisadian.

Today’s staff may not ride horses in working hours—those are spent talking to people from the Huntington to the Highlands. And even in these uncertain times, they are proud to be part of a grand and enduring tradition of community journalism.

These are the faces you may see around town, at the farmers market or in the street, desperate for coffee or tacos: Say hello and share your stories.

Rich Schmitt
The “Man with a Thousand Tommy Bahama Shirts” has been staff photographer since 2001. He loves school and backyard parties, good barbecue and, as a man with an equipment-stuffed van, convenient parking.


Steve Galluzzo
The hardest-working man in sports journalism, Steve first wrote for the Post in May 1998. He drives thousands of miles a year, from Fresno to San Diego, covering hundreds of games with local teams. It’s not a game until Steve is there.


Gina Kernan
Gina, a Westside native, has been managing director since 2012. She loves organizing community events, from Pali Bee to the Deck Your Halls and Creep Your Crypt decorating contests. She cares for dogs, koi fish and chickens and is expecting her first child in mid-July.


John Harlow
The British-born editor is celebrating his first year at the helm of the Post by taking U.S. citizenship. His uncle, John Harlowe, raised poodles in the Palisades in the 1950s, but John is a cat guy. And, like Gina, he keeps chickens.


Sarah Shmerling
As managing editor, Sarah keeps the newspaper on an even keel, while heightening its growing social media presence. Sarah has worked on local newspapers in the area for four years and is currently looking for a puppy.


Michael Dijamco
Our hard-working graphic designer Michael makes the pages pretty, immersing himself in art and design when he is not following basketball or tennis (big fan of the Golden State Warriors). He loves Thai and Japanese food.
Nilanti Narain
Nilanti has been on the paper since last November. As an advertising account executive with a dash of exuberant sartorial style and passion for animals in print and in the world, she is proud to be from the Westside in “the best city in the galaxy.”


Lena Ford
A former Palisadian who used to walk to work here, Lena, a USC grad, is an advertising account executive, published playwright and gastronome. She works off such tastes with a tough regime of athletics, yoga and roller blading.


Matthew Meyer
SoCal native Mathew joined the Post last summer, fresh out of the college experience, and has made his mark covering Pali High, elections and colorful encounters with local wildlife. A rabid Packers fan who, during the evenings, can be caught performing comedy around Los Angeles.
Gabriella Bock
It has been a tumultuous few months since Ellie joined the Post as our newest reporter:
The former Chicagoan, and political aide in Florida, got married in February in Santa Barbara. Apart from her husband, fascinations include indie film, hiking and poetry.